Why would you hire a photographer, when stock images are so cheap?

Recently, I met with one of the members of my BNI chapter. He is a web developer and asked me exactly this question:

“Why would you hire a photographer, when stock images are so cheap?”

This is an excellent question. It doesn’t take much search on the Internet to find images for 1U$ or less. You can find plenty high quality images (the screening process for photo submission is very tight) to use for your web site or other marketing materials. So, for a few dollars or Rands, you can get nice images. That should do it or not?

Well, it depends on what you want to achieve. If you write a blog post and found a picture that illustrates your point in a stock library and you don’t mind that many other people use the same image to illustrate their site.

It is a totally different story when you created a brand for your business. All your marketing is based on the foundation of your brand identity. Things look different.

Developing a brand is not cheap on many levels. You spent a lot of time brainstorming and thinking about what makes your business unique. Based on that process, you develop your logo, website and other marketing material. It took a lot of time and money up to this point. Your goal is to  communicate, who you are and what makes you different from your competition.

My question is: How can you stand out, with generic images?